Blair Castle CCI and ERM CIC 3

GBR-Tom McEwen rides Strike Smartly during the Magic Millions British Open CIC3* Championship Cross Country. 2018 GBR-Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing. Gatcombe Park. Gloucestershire. Saturday 4 August. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Sunshine at Blair for Super Saturday with plenty of rides to keep Tom busy.  Strike Smartly ( Paddy) went all out as one of only three horses to make time which demonstrates how fit he is as he wouldn’t be the most streamlined of horses if viewed on his winter holidays!  He and Tom scorched around to maintain their narrow lead and they will have to show jump well tomorrow with IzzyTaylor and Tim Price hot on their heels and less than a rail away.

Also gunning round the cross country was Figaro van het Broekxhof ( Fig) who redeemed himself after his Arville blip with a seriously fast and cool cross country. Just 2.8 time puts him into 4th place and another solid performance from Mr McEwen.

CHF Cooliser ( Eliza) broke the Piggy French domination of the CCI 2 star by pinging round clear in time to retain her 2nd spot. Just ahead of her is Cooley Monsoon who has already won Tatts CCI 2 star this spring so with allot more experience under their belt than Eliza. Tom would have been more than happy with her today, she is a gutsy and gifted mare who always gives her best.

In the CCI 1 star Nasdaq High ( Bodie) continued the McEwen on-blinding-form scenario with a clear in time on his CCI debut.  Bodie now sits in 6th spot in by far the biggest class at Blair with some 85 starters which is no mean achievement and hopefully he will also jump well tomorrow.

Finally Royal Roxey got to do her dressage and I would say that she was pleasantly surprised to see quite a crowd and a decent main arena for her to strut her stuff in the dressage as she is nothing if not a show off.  A score of 34 is a long way off the test she is capable of but she is a hot headed little lady and that doesn’t really help!  Some nice cool conditions after our heatwave would have brightened her up too… I would hazard a guess that Tom did a good job!

Five horses to show jump tomorrow and one cross country course to ride…and the forecast, it has to be said, is dire.  Thank God for ERM TV so we can sit at home in the warm and dry and watch Tom getting wet riding Roxey!